Opportunities on campus

More than ever before, curators and archivists at the University are developing museum and heritage opportunities which both benefit students from the region in terms of hands-on experience and the University in terms of useful museum projects.


The Barber Institute of Fine Arts 

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts offers six paid museum internships a year, designed to provide work experience for graduates from across the University who are seeking a career in museums and galleries. There are opportunities to gain experience in one of three areas: Collections and Curating, Learning and Access and Marketing and Communication. Interns are supported throughout their time at the Barber to develop their skills, knowledge and experience, working under the direction and close supervision of the Barber Institute’s staff. Previous interns have gone on to secure employment in many prestigious galleries, museums and art organisations.

These internships run for 19 weeks.  Students who have graduated within the last three years are eligible to apply.  For more information please contact: info@barber.org.uk 

Cadbury Research Library

The Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections host four-week internships during the summer vacation. These internships are open to all registered undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Birmingham. In previous years successful candidates have focussed on promoting, and making accessible, specific archival and/or rare book collections. Activities have included listing, cataloguing and curating exhibitions. In addition, candidates have received training in handling archival materials as well as experiencing the demands of working in an archive service.

In recent years the internships have been highly competitive and a full interview process is adopted. The posts are usually advertised in March via the department’s Twitter page (@CadburyRL) or on the University of Birmingham Careers website. For more information please contact: special-collections@contacts.bham.ac.uk

The Lapworth Museum of Geology

The Lapworth Museum of Geology currently offers six scholarships for one month over the summer vacation. The scholarships give students the opportunity to gain a wide range of museum experience, including documentation, conservation and display, and the students then work on a part-time basis through the following academic year. Some years the students have the opportunity to work in Dudley Museum to gain experience of a municipal museum. The scheme is open to all students enrolled on geology single honours or joint honours programmes and is highly successful in introducing students to the museum profession. A large proportion have gone on to PGR and PGT degrees in palaeontology and other aspects of geology, and around 10% have entered the museum profession over the 12 years that the scheme has been running.

For more information please contact: lapworth@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Research and Cultural Collections

Research and Cultural Collections hosts placements for students from different disciplines across and outside the University, developing projects which are mutually beneficial. The students work on solo projects and in groups to gain valuable work experience for developing careers in the heritage sector. Projects are available across a broad range of arts, cultural and science collections. Since 2002 many undergraduates and postgraduates have developed museum knowledge and skills and the majority of them now work in the heritage business, in institutions such as the Tate, the National Trust, Manchester Museum and the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. 

For more information please see the volunteering page

Winterbourne House and Garden

Winterbourne House and Garden offers volunteering opportunities throughout the year as well as short paid work placements on specific projects. All students are welcome and will have the chance to mix with a wide range of people in the volunteer team. Current volunteers work in numerous areas depending on their interests. This includes the garden, helping at events and with children's activities and with our collections where they learn about accessions, digitisation and interpretation. Recent paid placements have focused on collections management, marketing, audience development and learning and outreach projects. Some of our students have gone on to work in the heritage sector, others just enjoyed being at Winterbourne.

For further details email enquiries@winterbourne.org.uk

University Music and Concerts

There are a variety of volunteering opportunities within the University Music and Concerts team, who are responsible for University concerts in the Bramall Music Building, and the professional concert series in The Barber Institute of Fine Arts. The team recruit volunteers to help run the performances and opportunities include concert stewarding, box office, and marketing support, giving students an insight in to the logistics of concert management. There are also opportunities for students to help with stage management and those with excellent sight reading skills are asked to help page turning at concerts. Volunteers work under the direction and close supervision of University staff, and help will be given to those looking to move in to concert management with CV preparation and advice.

For more information please contact: L.V.Beech@bham.ac.uk